I grew up continually seeking “approval” from ‘Dear Ole Dad.’ It seems I could never do enough. I would work my ass off for hours on end, just hoping for a small nod of approval. Never came. Didn’t stop me from trying even harder…
Mom would often tell me that she would overhear Dad tell the ‘rum-dums’ at the bar how proud he was of me. That seemed to make it even worse; why couldn’t he ever tell me?
It wasn’t until I got sober that I realized, ‘it wasn’t me,’ it was him. He was incapable of expressing any feelings to others, let alone his son! What a revelation that was, to know it wasn’t ‘my fault.’
So, what do I take from it all? Simple: Never miss an opportunity to tell your kids how proud you are of them. If you haven’t told them recently, then what are you waiting for?